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Hi everyone! Today, I bring you my review and playlist for Small Town Hearts as part of the blog tour for the book. I received an ARC from the author in exchange of an honest review. A big thank you to Lillie Vale for the ARC and to Lili from Utopia State of Mind for hosting the blog tour!
Title: Small Town Hearts
Author: Lillie Vale
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publishing date: March 19th 2019
Rule #1 – Never fall for a summer boy.
Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.
And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?
Trigger Warnings: manipulative friendship, mention of casual drug usage (weed, not shown on the page), alcohol consumption (on page) and alcohol abuse (a character drinks and parties to the point of dehydration and sleep-deprivation; two characters get wasted and are too drunk to fully consent to sex with each other).
Small Town Heart is an angsty book about love and friendship, but mainly about not holding so strongly to people that you don’t let them change and grow and that you don’t allow yourself to change and grow. The book is full of complex relationships and fascinating discussions about growing up.
The main character, Babe, is naïve, indecisive, scared of change and a pushover at the beginning of the book, but she develops as a character and I really enjoyed seeing that. She embraces the fact that people don’t always stay the same, they change, and she should be able to change to, she should be able to grow as a person. One thing that I abolutely loved about Babe and about this book is that she is unapologetically bisexual and eveyone accepts that, it’s normal, it’s not an issues and it’s fantastic.
The love interest, Levi, was sweet, honest and mature. I really liked him, and I didn’t quite understand why he put up with Babe being so indecisive for such a big portion of this book. Nonetheless, their relationship was thoughtful and sweet, and I enjoyed their scenes together.
Now, in terms of Babe’s best friends, Penny was a fascinating character to me because I hated her at the beginning, she was manipulative, insensitive and mean. But as the book continues it’s evident that she is a more complex character, she makes some good points about change and about growing up that Babe needed to consider and accept. Nonetheless, that doesn’t excuse the way she behaved throughout the story and I liked the way this ended regarding her friendship with Babe. On the other hand, I don’t think there’s enough in this book about Chad to know him at all and the few scenes he has in this book made him look like an inconsiderate, pushover, oblivious guy.
I loved Babe’s coworker and friend, Lily and her boyfriend Lorcan. They are so cute and I really want a book about how everything started between them, because they are definitely one of my favorite part of the book.
The setting of this book is captivating, it’s this small seaside town, where everyone knows each other, where there are amazing sea food and desserts, beautiful landscapes, a sand castles competition and an awesome lighthouse where the main character lives. It honestly sounded like a magical place to live and it has a very big role in the story.
The plot gets a bit repetitive, the interactions between Babe and Levi always start cute and meaningful, but most of them end with Babe freaking out about Levi being a summer boy and getting weird and leaving, which I could understand at the beginning, but it kept happening again and again and it became a bit frustrating. Also, there is a point were the drama between Babe and Penny and Chad, got really repetitive as well.
Overall, Small Town Heart is a book for people who enjoy complicated firendships, sweet romances and books that have a bittersweet feel to them.
The playlist has songs that remind me of Babe and her relationship with Levi, a song that reminds me of Penny and even a song that reminds me of Babe’s relationship with her ex-girlfriend. I hope you enjoy it!
Lillie Vale, upon discovering she could not be one of Santa’s elves or attend Hogwarts, decided to become a writer to create a little magic of her own. Enjoying the romantic and eerie in equal measure, she’s probably always writing a book where the main characters kiss or kill. Born in Mumbai, she has lived in many U.S. states, and now resides in an Indiana college town where the corn whispers and no one has a clue that she is actually the long-lost caps lock queen.
Small Town Hearts is her debut novel.
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Have you read this book? Are you excited to read it? Let me know in the comments!
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